NFL Fans can be a finicky bunch. Add a proven veteran who fills a need in free agency and the masses rejoice. Watch that same player have a rough start and those same fans will demand he be released. That’s how things played out for Jets center Connor McGovern, but the Jets rejected the calls for his ouster and held tight.
The Missouri product had entered the league in 2017 as a guard for the Denver Broncos. After moving to center in his third year, he hit free agency and signed with the Jets to fill what had been a black hole since the departure of future Ring-of-Honor member Nick Mangold.
#Jets thinking: They like Connor McGovern & believe he will excel in the Kyle Shanahan/Mike LaFleur offense.
Moving him to guard wasn’t ever something they considered. https://t.co/uO5XgXMJye
— Connor Hughes (@Connor_J_Hughes) March 15, 2021
Things didn’t go well for McGovern in his first season with the Jets, but that could have been said about pretty much anyone on the 53-man roster under the since fired and still unemployed Adam Gase. With Gase engineering what was the NFL’s worst offense, McGovern had his share of struggles and many worried that he would join a long list of poor signings for Gang Green.
Fast forward the 2021 off-season and the Jets didn’t pursue any replacements in free agency and reportedly liked McGovern’s fit in the team’s new offense.
As it turned out, the Jets were right. McGovern’s play from year one to year two with the Jets was night and day. This meant McGovern would stays while being flanked by Laken Tomlinson at left guard with Alijah Vera-Tucker moving from left to right.
Connor McGovern: Career best 78.9 run blocking grade last season. 9th highest among all Centers💪 pic.twitter.com/tFvS8k2Rjn
— PFF NY Jets (@PFF_Jets) June 12, 2022
What this means for the Jets offense is that their young quarterback has continuity at a vital spot. Meanwhile, Vera-Tucker will have an experienced center to lean on as a mentor.
Replacing McGovern may have been what some wanted, but sticking with the veteran was the right call all along.